The use of wormwood cigars, or moxa is an ancient method of treatments for acupuncture. In Chinese medicine, moxibustion acupuncture is called chiu therapy.
Origin of Moxibustion therapy
There is a lot of debate about the origin of moxibustion therapy. In particular, doctors of Tibetan medicine consider this method their own. In Mongolian medicine, there is a specific method of using moxotherapy – using a bag of wormwood immersed in heated oil and applied to a bioactive point. This method is called Mongolian moxibustion. Moxibustion has received especially great development in Japan. For this reason, for a long time in Europe, moxibustion therapy was perceived as a Japanese method of treatment.
Nevertheless, it should be recognized that the main role in the development of moxibustion therapy was brought up by Chinese medicine.
In order to understand how this method works, you should start with what a bioactive point is (there are several hundred of them on the human body). Each of these points was found empirically. It was only in the twentieth century that European scientist, R. Foll, objectively proved their existence. To do this, he measured the electrical conductivity, he found that in bioactive points, it is much lower than the surrounding areas.
You can influence the bioactive point in various ways – by applying hard pressure, inserting a needle, or applying heat. Accordingly, methods of treatments like acupressure , acupuncture, and moxibustion therapy have emerged to manipulate these certain points.
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Moxibustion therapy is mainly used to improve metabolic processes, enhance immunity, and treat chronic respiratory diseases. In particular, warming up with wormwood cigars shows very good results in bronchial asthma and chronic cough. To get rid of an impenetrable cough, sometimes just one or two sessions of moxotherapy are enough. Along with wormwood cigars, small hemp cones made of wormwood or charcoal are used for moxibustion therapy.
The choice of wormwood for moxotherapy was not accidental; it is this plant in its dried form that provides the optimal temperature of smoldering gorenje.
Classical Chinese and Tibetan moxibustion means contactless moxibustion therapy. In Japan, contact cauterization is mainly used, which leaves burns; this procedure in Europe has a negative reputation. This explains the fact that moxibustion therapy in Europe began to be used later than acupuncture. However, today moxibustion therapy has taken its rightful place in modern reflexology.
Moxibustion and acupuncture have long complemented each other. In the 73rd chapter of the medical treatise “Nei Jing” “Lin Shu” (2600 BC) it is said: “Diseases that cannot be cured by acupuncture are treated by cauterization.” Wormwood cigars were used for moxibustion, considering that wormwood is a source of Yang (Hetero) and when burned, warming the channels, restores Yang in the body, which normalizes blood flow and circulation of Chi.
Indications for moxibustion
The main indications for moxibustion are traditionally signs of an excess of cold energy in the human body: these included diseases in which the patient is afraid of the cold, has cold limbs, a tongue overlaid with a white coating and a slow, weak, and deeply located pulse.
Moxibustion was used with a general lack of energy or an excess of cold in individual meridians — with pain caused by cold, amenorrhea, infertility, as well as skin diseases, especially those with severe itching.
Moxibustion was also recommended for the treatment of diseases manifested by an excess of energy in the upper part of the body and a lack in the lower, and vice versa. Excess energy from the upper part can be lowered down by cauterizing the points located at the bottom. Energy points located in the upper part of the body were used to lift excess energy from the lower part of the body. Of particular importance is the warming up of the Bai-Hui point, located on the top of the head, with moxies.
The same rules can be used to normalize the distribution of energy between the left and right, as well as the back and front halves of the body.
In addition, moxibustion of the tzu-san-li point in the first ten days of the lunar month was shown to preserve health and longevity. For the same purposes, cauterization was also recommended at other points: guan-yuan J4, qi-hai J6, ming-men T4.
How does moxibustion work
Moxibustion of biologically active points is effective in treatments of many chronic diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, insomnia, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory organs, genitourinary system, as well as colds and flu.
Cauterization normalizes the movement of qi energy along the meridians, improves blood circulation, removes cold and dampness from the body – the main factors of the occurrence of diseases according to the theory of Chinese medicine, reduces puffiness, has a restorative effect. In addition to the above diseases, it is also used for early ejaculation, impotence, bronchial asthma, diarrhea in children under 1 year old, post-stroke condition, neurodermatitis, eczema, gastric prolapse, incorrect fetal position. Cauterization is not used on the face and on the front surface of the neck, near the passage of large vessels and mucous membranes.
Moxibustion has a regulating effect on blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. With the help of moxibustion, you can change the number of white blood cells and red blood cells in the blood, reducing cholesterol levels. Moxibustion has a stimulating effect on immunity and the metabolism. With prolonged use of moxibustion for health purposes, it is possible to achieve an increase in life expectancy.